3 Earth Science Schools whose research will change the world

Our planet is full of natural wonders whose existence is extraordinary. With diverse landscapes and ever-changing cultures, there’s an abundance of space for living things to grow and for environments to thrive. As National Geographic elaborates, Earth is the fifth-largest planet in the solar system and the third planet from the sun. Made up of complex, interactive systems that are often unpredictable, the Earth Sciences represent remarkable subjects of study.

The Earth Science (ES) are connected to four major fields. When you pursue the topic, you’ll learn everything about oceanography, meteorology, astronomy and geology. By focusing on all of Earth’s elements, you will leave no stone unturned. In fact, you’ll acquire in-depth knowledge about every aspect of the discipline, gaining access to leading-edge research at the same time. Often described as a dynamic degree, there’s freedom to combine passion with your preferred career. That’s what makes this course so appealing; it’s simply not limited to these four fields. You may delve into further specialisations such as volcanology, seismology and limnology. Upon graduation, your options become as vast as the universe itself.

With the rise of global warming, it’s a crucial time to consider the importance of Earth Science. If we continue to monitor and understand Earth’s activity, we stand much more of a chance in our efforts to save it. We only have one planet and environmental conservation is a fundamental concept. Whilst you learn about the field, you simultaneously develop analytical and computational methods, also relishing the opportunity to explore a new experimental approach that helps redesign and revolutionise our surroundings for the greater good.

According to ScienceNordic, it’s still being decided what our climate will look like in 2050, but many people believe that it will be up to us. As the science news source states, “it is this recognition of our ability to alter processes at the planetary level that causes many to refer to the current period of Earth history as the Anthropocene, meaning the “period of humankind”. And knowing that we have the power to influence global climate is enormously important.” So if you hope to help diminish and control the damaging effects of climate change, a degree in Earth Science is a step in the right direction.

If you embark on an ES adventure, you’re not just focusing on the future; you’re also driving global change. You’ll dissect theories and work out how we can manage our natural resources responsibly and sustainably. Through fieldwork, you will escape the classroom and engage in real-life situations. As you get to reach beyond the lecture hall, this degree provides a healthy balance between theoretical and practical techniques. It’s ideal for students who are fascinated by the Earth’s role in the solar system and how powerful our planet really is.

Here are 3 Earth Science schools whose research is changing the world…


ANU’s academic reputation for Earth Sciences is astounding. As Australia’s leading research institution in Earth Sciences, the school flies high in the league tables. Due to its global recognition and top courses, students flock every year to secure a place at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES).  With diverse research themes and projects on offer, there’s plenty here for you to get your teeth stuck into.

The school’s world-leading technology and intellectual creativity are often the source of keen media interest. Recently, ANU scientists produced the best estimate to-date of the Earth’s composition. As RSES Professor Trevor Ireland states,“this has far-reaching importance, not only for planetary bodies in our Solar System but also other star systems in the universe”. This estimate is just one example of the RSES’s cutting-edge research. By studying here, you’ll become an integral member of the ANU community and gain an outstanding academic advantage.

Aside from independent projects, the RSES delivers a wide array of degree programs. With both undergraduate and postgraduate platforms on offer, there’s a whole world of opportunities waiting for you. What’s unique about ANU is that is provides core subjects with options to specialise in specific fields ranging from geological, through environmental and climate, to planetary science. You can embark on a Bachelor of Science and top it off with an Honours or Master of Earth Science (advanced) degree. These advanced versions of degree options introduce you to forward-thinking concepts and will encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. At this school, the sky is not the limit – there’s the whole Earth and solar system for you to discover and explore!


ETH Zurich’s Department of Earth Sciences (D-ERDW) is another school that remains ahead of its time. By securing tenth place in the Top 100 universities for Geology, Environmental, Earth & Marine Sciences, this is an institution that’s steadily climbing the charts. Founded in 1979, the purpose of the department was to operate earth-related exhibitions and display geological collections. Since then, it has evolved into a spectacular learning space for students to pursue Earth Science subjects, including isotope geology, micropaleontology and geophysics.

The Geological Institute at ETH Zurich performs leading teaching and research activities over an extensive range of geological disciplines. This is where you can dig deep and uncover the dynamics of the Earth’s surface and join in with laboratory studies. The institute arranges monthly events and seminars with professional speakers. Here, you’re welcome to attend talks about structural geology and tectonic plates, and there will always be a thought-provoking session to get involved with.

Courses at the D-ERDW Department range from Bachelor’s in Earth Sciences to a Master’s in Atmospheric and Climate Science. When you become a Bachelor student, you must take part in at least three days of excursions.  Educational trips at ETH are valued as highly-effective study tools. They aim to expose students to the reality of agricultural science and illustrate connections between theoretical knowledge and research projects. As an added bonus, you’ll also get the chance to participate in a one-week block course in Applied Earth Sciences.


The University of Tokyo teaches aspiring Earth and Planetary Science students the importance of research. Formed in 2000, this department now consists of five research groups. For instance, there’s the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (AORI), focusing on atmospheric circulation and the underwater world. One of the organisations that’s linked with the university is CLIVAR (Climate and Ocean: Variability, Predictability and Change). This group looks into climate variability and the dynamics of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Through analysis of observations and global climate change predictions, CLIVAR acts as a go-to institution for updated assessments.

It’s an exciting time to be an Earth Science graduate at the University of Tokyo. With a variety of degrees to choose from, they combine day-to-day lectures with research resources. There is an option to continue your studies and pursue a Master’s, but you must have completed a two-year period of residence and earned the expected number of credits required by each department. You’ll be supported by a qualified academics officer who’s always on-hand to steer you through your syllabus.

So, if the idea of applying for a place on an Earth Science scheme excites you, then you may want to look into the university’s scholarship plan. Contacting the International Liaison Office is the first step to enquiring about financial support. The University of Tokyo helps international students with various study barriers, such as needing an emergency loan or immediate student discounts. At this school, staff keep a steady eye on your welfare and enhance your perceptions of Planet Earth’s natural phenomena.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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